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Tupras First-Quarter Profit Fell 5.9% After Margins Contract

Tupras Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri AS, Turkey’s sole oil refiner, reported a 5.9 percent annual drop in first-quarter profit as more expensive crude reduced margins.

Net income fell to 288.3 million liras ($159 million) from 306.3 million liras in the first quarter of last year, Tupras said in a filing to the Istanbul Stock Exchange today. The company was expected to earn 288.9 million liras, according to the average of 14 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Tupras is cutting oil purchases from Iran, where it buys crude at lower-than-market rates via a bilateral agreement, by 20 percent, it said on March 30. Tupras had a net refining margin of $1.96 a barrel in the first quarter compared to the Mediterranean Complex margin of $2.97, and down from $3.87 it had a year ago, it said in an e-mailed statement after the earnings were released.

“Thanks to the favorable lira performance during the first quarter of 2012 net profit remained almost flat year-on-year despite lower operating profits,” Selim Kunter, an analyst at broker Ekspres Invest in Istanbul, said in an e-mailed report to clients today. Tupras was forced to pay more for its crude because of U.S. and European Union sanctions on Iran, he said.

Turpas slid 1.6 percent to 36 liras at 4:12 p.m. on the Istanbul Stock Exchange.

Operating profit slumped an annual 61 percent to 136.6 million liras in the quarter, Tupras told the exchange. Financial income from non-core operations, including earnings from exchange rate differences, climbed 38 percent to 428.6 million liras, it said. Non-core financial expenditure dropped 26 percent annually to 206.6 million liras.

Sales surged 36 percent from a year ago to 10.53 billion liras, Tupras said. Cost of sales jumped 41 percent to 10.19 billion liras.

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